Best Video

WATCH: Jon Stewart slams CNN's Boston bombing coverage

The Daily Show host puts on his media criticism hat to excoriate CNN and other news organizations

The news media displayed some journalistic excellence last week in Boston, from heartfelt coverage of the awful bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon to the dramatic final manhunt for the brothers believed to be behind the deadly explosions, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A fair number of journalistic outrages also emerged, including a New York Post cover implicating two innocent high schoolers. And then there was CNN.

"When big news breaks, we instinctively look to CNN," says David Carr in The New York Times. "We want CNN to be good, to be worthy of its moment. That impulse took a beating last week." The worst moment was John King's blunder on Wednesday, when he falsely reported that police had arrested a suspect. In the Jeff Zucker era, the struggling network's signature story has been a powerless cruise ship floating aimlessly around the Caribbean. "This week, CNN seemed a lot like that ship."

Part of the reason that we still want CNN to be great is that at a moment when information and news seem to have done a jailbreak — bursting forth everywhere in all sorts of ways — it would be nice to have a village common where a reliable provider of news held the megaphone. By marketing itself as the most trusted name in news, CNN is and should be held to a higher standard.

After the erroneous report of a capture, CNN's reporters and anchors seemed to have taken a deep breath and proceeded with caution. On Friday, the network got an early jump on the story, but stayed on cat's paws throughout the day, issuing regular caveats on every bit of information. In the end, NBC broke the news first. [New York Times]

That's one way to critique the media. In another, Jack Shafer at Reuters mounts a spirited counter-argument "in defense of journalistic error," including a limited exoneration of CNN. Jon Stewart at Comedy Central's The Daily Show has his own style of media criticism, and on Monday night his target was CNN. Watch the video:

Recommended

FBI investigating George Santos' role in dog fundraising scheme
George Santos.
'the big guys finally picked it up'

FBI investigating George Santos' role in dog fundraising scheme

Conservative attorneys general warn Walgreens, CVS against distributing abortion pills
A box of prescription mifepristone for abortions.
Sending A Warning

Conservative attorneys general warn Walgreens, CVS against distributing abortion pills

Thousands mourn as Tyre Nichols is laid to rest in Memphis
Rev. Al Sharpton and Vice President Kamala Harris
Rest in peace

Thousands mourn as Tyre Nichols is laid to rest in Memphis

College Board appeases conservatives over AP African American studies
AP African American Studies textbooks
Advanced appeasement?

College Board appeases conservatives over AP African American studies

Most Popular

The Hogwarts Legacy boycott controversy, explained
Hogwarts Legacy logo photo
Briefing

The Hogwarts Legacy boycott controversy, explained

Linda Ronstadt is the Kate Bush of 2023 thanks to The Last of Us
Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett in The Last of Us
running up that hill

Linda Ronstadt is the Kate Bush of 2023 thanks to The Last of Us

The Adani Group scandal, explained
Gautam Adani.
Briefing

The Adani Group scandal, explained